Socialism Always Fails. (Really?)
February 1, 2020 at 4:14 am #29903
The whole video is interesting, but the “Socialism always fails” starts a around 8:40.February 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm #29906
I liked the whole presentation, especially since I could watch most of it at 1.5x speed, and the rest at 1.25x.
I was disappointed that he wasn’t mentioning automation/end-of-work… until he did near the end. This will be an increasingly looming issue, which can be informed only by how we currently are or aren’t able to deal with unemployment and with determining how we expect profit-seeking institutions and government to address it. Add to that the necessity to address how competitive we can be with increasingly labor-exploitive and world-expansive countries like China (because with so many people, they CAN), and add to that how increasingly powerful AI will become, while in the hands of unregulated corporations and state-capitalist owners (again, like China).
Communism and so-called socialism in the hands of oligarchs and other profit-seeking rulers at the top, plus extreme capitalistic idealism (with the attitude that “capitalism can never do wrong”) are challenges to future humanity. Socialism, albeit never perfect (as no pure idealism will ever by perfect), seems to me to be taking the most beneficent paths. I say paths not path, because any idealism still needs to keep evolving, while learning from the benefits and pitfalls seen in different forms of socialism (e.g. in different countries).
Humanity is heading further into an existential experimental phase.February 2, 2020 at 12:00 am #29907
Sorry man but a 30 minute video is a little long to watch until I know a few things before committing to watching it. What is he referring to by socialism? Modern European socialist states? Or a subset of communist states? Or pseudo socialist states like Venezuela?
The idea that socialism always fails is so preposterous. I would invite this guy to walk around the various neighborhoods of Oslo and then walk around the various neighborhoods of Los Angeles and repeat that. If however he isn’t referring to the modern-European-socialist-state then, what he is saying is likely true and already obvious. So which is it?February 2, 2020 at 3:05 am #29908
Sorry man but a 30 minute video is a little long to watch until I know a few things before committing to watching it. What is he referring to by socialism? Modern European socialist states? Or a subset of communist states? Or pseudo socialist states like Venezuela? The idea that socialism always fails is so preposterous. I would invite this guy to walk around the various neighborhoods of Oslo and then walk around the various neighborhoods of Los Angeles and repeat that. If however he isn’t referring to the modern-European-socialist-state then, what he is saying is likely true and already obvious. So which is it?
As Dr. Wolff explains in this video, “Anyone who tells you ‘This is socialism’ is either ignorant or is misleading you,” because while socialism has spread around the world, it has taken many different specific forms. And yet, today, there are three basic types of socialism. If you have the time, he distinguishes between them. In summary, they are distinguished this way:
1) A highly government-regulated capitalist economy. The social democracies of Europe, for example.
2) The government takes over and runs the whole show from the workplaces to even social relations. This is typically called Communism.
3) Workplace democracy, where the workers have a big say in the operation of capitalist enterprises.February 2, 2020 at 6:00 am #29909
Some thoughts, as I’ve been through this discussion many times before and, while I cannot be sure it really sounds JUST like what I’m about to say: European countries aren’t capitalist systems that are highly regulated. They are MIXED systems. They are both capitalist and socialist at the same time. You can call it regulated-capitalism or you can call it free-market socialism but doing either just takes away from the fact that they are mixed and you cannot possibly have a modern-European welfare state without both the many important elements of capitalism adopted by them and the elements of socialism that work for them. Many of these countries self-identify as socialist countries. These mixed countries are so highly “regulated” that you can hardly call them “capitalist” just as these countries are so open to the tenements of the free market you cannot call them wholly “socialist”. They are mixed. But yet they call themselves what they want to call themselves. And as confusing as they are…insisting that these states ARE capitalist and NOT socialist just overgeneralizes and creates confusion. I agree a purely socialist state will always fail and a purely capitalist state will be a very ugly place to live. But I wouldn’t want to make such a general claim that “capitalism” will always create social problems and socialism will always fail when the two are defined and used as a term in different ways by different countries. I think it is silly to insist mixed systems are just modified capitalist states (or the opposite that they are just watered down socialist states). But I’ll give the video a watch despite feeling fairly certain it will be painful to watch.
Here I go…let’s see if I’ve spoken too soon.February 2, 2020 at 11:13 pm #29919
I learned from the video, mostly because we didn’t go that deep into European systems in polysci class. Thanks in advance for enduring it @davis, and I hope you have time to offer more of your expertise on it. (Although I’m mostly interested now in how various economic systems will play out, as a probably never-ending set of experiments. And I hope the outdated terminologies can evolve as well, as classic terminologies recede into the history books.)February 3, 2020 at 7:14 pm #29943
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
Sorry have not a chance to watch the video yet. I once had a conversation with an ex-military guy from Florida who was telling me about how the US keeps the world safe from Socialism. I don’t think too many people understand what it is. It is not Communism. I made some of these points to him which did not impress him. He got a “free” college education and a Masters degree for giving the military 6 years (I think it was 6) which he was going to give anyway. Early retirement and pension, even discounts on haircuts from some of the signs I have seen in various States.February 3, 2020 at 7:21 pm #29944
You always hear “You libtards (=socialists or ‘commies’) just want free shit (or other people’s money).” Yet, corporations get welfare all the time in the form of tax breaks or, when the time comes, bailouts. You and I are not “too big to fail” so we are expendable.
We are supposed to just go out and work for our wealth while the greatest proportion of the super-rich’s wealth was not worked for at all. It’s either passive income or inherited, two unearned forms of personal wealth.February 3, 2020 at 7:35 pm #29945
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
While I don’t have the reference to hand it is estimated that if Churches paid “corporation” tax that it would cover the cost of the (socialist) food stamp program. Though when I read this I thought about inventing my own religion. L. Ron Hubbard was right when he said:
“You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”February 7, 2020 at 7:39 pm #30063
Having watched this video Unseen I have to seriously disagree with the way you’ve characterized this guys ideas. I don’t see anything controversial with what he says. His ultimate argument is that socialism, in it’s many guises has not been realized under the standards in which it was invented. Also…not in the least controversial. But under the claim that it “failed”, they have actually succeeded if + growth and + inequality is an important standard of measure. Which in both cases is totally true. He goes out of his way to show that modern socialist states (Europe/Canada/NZ/Australia/Japan/S.Korea) have achieved modest growth AND civil liberties) which answers other failures of the totalitarian style of socialism but he still holds that none of these socialist experiments have fulfilled the original tennants of socialism which was going beyond the form of government as we knew it (which is true) but I think we’ve safely arrived at a place where…do we really need to do that? Are we ready to? Is it a good idea to? Will we ever be ready to? Luckily he doesn’t dive into that because that again, wasn’t the goal of his video..
Most of what this guy makes sense. He’s not saying anything particularly new or profound. Just a reasonable summary of how, most European intellectuals see thing. He doesn’t really spend enough time covering the “mixed” nature of European socialist systems…but that wasn’t the goal of the video so there’s really no problem with that. The only critique I could give the guy is that, this video could have easily been 8 minutes long without losing anythign.
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